Monday, August 27, 2012

A beautifully planned life... (I wish!)

Have I mentioned I'm a planner???


Well, here's my post to confess my planning obsession :-) I used to think everyone was like me, planning everything, just in varying degrees. But I once worked with a lovely chap who taught me a valuable lesson, one day he said "We're planning so much we'll never actually get to do it all!". Hmmm. I thought, at the time, that I was supposed to be teaching him. But you know all these years later I still remember his words, bet he doesn't remember them though I bet he does remember my planning ;-) I think we came to a happy-ish compromise with our work planning in the end. And so I try for that in my day-to-day life to. Planning with time to actually do!

There's just something so orderly and organised, neat and tidy, about a plan. It clears my mind, I think that's the way to put it. So here's how I plan...

First I have my diary, this is central to my planning. 

On each day I have a running 'to-do' list, it's generally in some sort of order. I've recently started blocking it out into morning, afternoon and evening segments. Sometimes I even add a 'before-school' section - I need to be feeling energetic or under pressure for that one!

At the start of each week (generally on the Sunday page 'cos it's a rest day so fairly empty) I carry over the previous week's 'to-do' list and I plot out a schedule for the week. In the schedule I mark the stuff that HAS to happen; meetings, swimming lessons, appointments. Then I try and make myself allocate meals to each day that work with the schedule, so if we have a late swimming lesson the slow cooker gets a work-out. Lastly, I plot in some of the bigger activities I'd like to do during the week, I even check the weather and plan the linen washing activities! Once-upon-a-time I used to also slot in exercise times/activities for me too, but that's flown out the window since the cold set in.

The last few months have seen this diary and my planning happening quite rhythmically. It's a system that works for me, simple and cheap. And aside from the lack of exercise I've managed to get everyone ready for a major trip, get the Mr through his study, keep the small people fed and watered, take plenty of photos and blog about it all. 

Last week I had nothing big happening. No cakes to cook, parties to plan, people to stay or places to go. So I ditched the diary. I thought I'd be right without all the planning. And I was. Almost. There was just something not quite right. I couldn't put my finger on it until about Thursday. I knew I wasn't great, that I wasn't my usual self, that I wasn't at all motivated. But there were plenty of excuses I could use; it's winter, we're halfway through the school term, I'm tired (aren't we always?!), the small people are tired, and it's still winter. Hmmm. 

Then it hit me. I had no drive. No purpose. No list to cross off! 

Was it really that simple? Probably not. But I knew that if I got my diary sorted, got the list going, got the schedule rolling then I could add in some other things that would get me even more sorted. Like some exercise to get those endorphins pumping!

SOooo................ Here it is. My full, complete plan for this week. Not that a plan is ever complete, you could work on them forever, see above (poor bloke, he never really stood a chance of changing me!). This is just how I do it. For this week:-) And how I'm going to get myself going again. Out of the winter rut. Maybe I should schedule some spring cleaning...! Ugh! Cleaning?! There is something about a pristine room, but it sure doesn't stay that way for more than a second around here. Think I might find some other fulfilling things to schedule ;-) Like painting something whitewash, I spied a lovely painted cane basket at abeachcottage the other day, might have to try that out on some I have around here.

What are your prompts to get you going? We all need little things in our lives to keep us going - what are yours? And please tell me I'm not the only one who plans like this!! One day I'm sure this diary will be on a smartphone, but for now this suits me, there's just something about pen and paper. And stationary - I love it!

Alright, I'm off to actually 'do' some of this lists. Have a nice Monday!